CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship September 10, 2021


September 10, 2021

COVID-19 HardshipSeptember 10, 2021 

The (mostly) back-to-school edition. Millions of kids are back in school – some for the first time in 18 months. Polling shows parents are happy about this – but also favor safety measures such as mask mandates. Although experts broadly agree students should be in school as opposed to learning virtually, there is much cause for concern. Kids now account for more than one in four COVID-19 cases nationwide. In just the past week, 1,400 schools had to close and go to virtual learning due to COVID-19 outbreaks. In Texas alone, 50,000 K-12 students have tested positive. And 13 employees of Miami-Dade County schools have died. 

Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans in Congress as well as the Biden Administration have seemingly abandoned more than 10 million Americans – that’s the number of jobless workers who lost some or all of their unemployment benefits this week. “The cessation of this jobless aid, first put in place by Congress nearly 18 months ago, could upend the lives of millions of Americans still struggling to find work at a time when the pandemic’s delta variant is wreaking fresh havoc across a number of states,” the Washington Post reports. “It could also lead to a sharp pullback in spending, particularly in certain areas of the country, impacting a wide range of restaurants and other businesses that rely on consumer dollars.” 

As all this unfolds, corporate America has launched a last-minute lobbying blitz to convince lawmakers in Congress that they – along with the wealthiest Americans – shouldn’t have to pay their fair share of taxes. But we know that important investments such as health care, child care, education, improving opportunity for our nation’s workforce, fighting climate change, and promoting equity across lines of race, ethnicity and gender, must be paid for. That means everyone needs to pay their fair share. 

Please click here and tell Congress: make everyone pay their fair share so that we can invest in the things we need in order to build a robust country where everyone can prosper, and no one is left behind. 


40 million/ 


40 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the U.S. since the pandemic began; more than 650,000 Americans have died. Experts say the actual number of COVID-19 cases is significantly higher than the number of confirmed cases. More than 4 million new cases were reported in the past four weeks alone. Tweet this.


1.8 million 


Before the first expanded Child Tax Credit payment was distributed in mid-July, the number of people living with children reporting that their household did not have enough to eat in the previous week was 10.7 million. Now, after two payments have gone out, that number is 8.9 million – a drop of 1.8 million. Tweet this.




The number of hate crimes in the U.S. rose in 2020 to the highest level in 12 years, mainly due to attacks on Black and Asian people, the FBI just announced. In 2020, the FBI counted 7,759 hate crimes, up 6 percent from 2019 and the most since 2008, when 7,783 hate crimes were reported. Even so, one civil rights leader said the FBI’s figures are “woefully underreported.” Tweet this.



Although robust government intervention prevented overall food insecurity from worsening in 2020, not everyone fared the same. Among Black households, 21.7 percent experienced food insecurity in 2020, compared to 7.1 percent of White households. This is a gap of 14.6 percentage points, up from 11.2 points in 2019, before the pandemic arrived. Food insecurity is defined as being unable to afford adequate nutritious food at some point in the previous year. Tweet this.


More than 10 million 

The number of Americans who lost some or all of their unemployment benefits this past week. It was the largest drop-off of its kind in U.S. history. Tweet this.


7 cents 


New research reveals that in states that cut unemployment benefits early, every dollar lost in benefits was offset by only about 7 cents in increased earnings. This sharply refutes arguments by UI opponents that unemployment benefits somehow discourage many people from working. Experts warn that the massive cutoff will drain the U.S. economy of $8 billion in September and October alone.


$700 million 

The Biden Administration announced this week it would provide $700 million in grants to meat-packing, farm, and grocery-store workers to help defray financial hardships these essential workers have faced. The grants will be distributed to state agencies, tribal entities, and nonprofit groups that support these workers, who were required to go into work even in the height of the pandemic. Eligible workers can receive up to $600.



The percent of large health care plans that are no longer making COVID-19 treatment free for patients, according to a recent study from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The average COVID-19 hospitalization costs $40,000. Most insured patients won’t pay that entire bill, but for those who had to pay a share of the cost of their hospital stay, the average cost was $3,800.



The increase in daily COVID-19 cases in South Dakota since a giant motorcycle rally in the town of Sturgis in August drew more than 250,000 participants.



The spike in calls to poison control centers from people who are self-medicating with ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug usually used to treat cows and horses that some falsely claim works for COVID-19. The National Poison Data System, which collects data from the nation’s 55 poison control centers, said there was a 245 percent surge in reported exposure cases from July to August.





COVID-19 Watch